Intermittent Fasting Productivity

Siim Land

This article gives a glimpse of how intermittent fasting productivity is one of the greatest hacks of getting more done.

Your Time and Energy

How much time do you spend on cooking food, prepping meals, eating the dish, cleaning up and digesting it? I want you to actually think deeply about it because our society has conditioned us so hard when it comes to consuming calories.

If it takes about 30 minutes to cook and eat an ordinary 500-700 calories meal, and you have to eat 3-5 times per day, then in total you’ll spend on average 2-3 hours on feeding alone. Do you really want to be dedicating that much attention and commitment to food? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m a total foodie and love to eat. It’s just that, wouldn’t we want to spend our time and energy on something more fulfilling and giving instead of pure consumption.

Do You Really Need to Eat?

Another question would be to ask do you really need to eat that often? Society has lead us again to believe that skipping meals is crazy bad for you and that you should be constantly snacking on something – the smaller your meals and the more frequently you eat them the better!

In reality, not eating is anything but bad for you. Intermittent fasting has a vast array of benefits that encompass health, performance, wellbeing and productivity.

Fact of the matter is that, your body would actually thrive on eating less frequently and is secretly wishing for it to happen. We simply condition ourselves to be dependent of many meals and thus get this distorted idea about fasting.

From a physiological and evolutionary perspective. it doesn’t make sense to have to eat several times per day, at all, really. Our body is able to store any extra calorie it doesn’t need right away into its adipose tissue from which it will draw energy back again in case of caloric deprivation. What’s more, you wouldn’t be able to survive for long if you would’ve been dependent of free steaks lying around.

Intermittent Fasting Overview

In reality, our body actually thrives in periods of slight scarcity and will thus cause a series of metabolic adaptations to take place that improve our health and increase performance.

After not eating for anything for several hours, your blood sugar gets quite low and you enter a fasted state. Once liver glycogen has been completely emptied, within 16-20 hours, the liver responds by beginning to convert your stored body fat into ketone bodies. (Read the entire explanation of intermittent fasting).

Ketones are very energy dense fat molecules that provide the body and brain the fuel they need to survive when there’s no food to be found.

The Effects of a Fasted State:

  • Increased fat oxidation and utilization into energy
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and better biomarkers
  • Enhanced Growth Hormone
  • Greater satiety and responsiveness to hunger

These are but a few examples of the profundity of IF.

Intermittent Fasting Productivity

Although better health and wellbeing are huge contributing factors to increasing your productivity, one of the best and convenient reasons as to why do intermittent fasting is that it frees up a lot of time for you.

Instead of having to follow the cycle of cooking, eating and repeat several times per day, you can spend that time doing something else you love, such as building a business, reading books, exercising, talking with friends and family.

In addition to the purely temporal aspect of why you would want to do intermittent fasting to increase your productivity, there are other physiological effects that will make you more cognizant and sharp.

Intermittent Fasting and Intelligence

Does skipping meals have any advantages on cognition? Not directly but it facilitates greater capacity for intelligence, the ability to focus and stimulates creativity.

Intermittent fasting increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which increases the resistance of neurons to dysfunction and degeneration[i]. This has profound impact on your cognitive skills and overall wellbeing. Even more so, abstention from food triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy which is responsible for cellular repair and detox. Even just a short fast has an effect on the brain’s neuronal autophagy[ii].

Intermittent Fasting Productivity and Intelligence
Intermittent Fasting Productivity and Intelligence

Delving into more phenomenal aspects.

Being deprived of food puts our body into hunger mode, which sharpens our senses, makes us more alert and forces us to start thinking about how to find energy. Anecdotally, this will have at least some effect on creativity, problem-solving and focus.

Fast for Greater Output

That’s what many great people of the past have done. In Ancient Greek, fasting was a way to clean the body from any potential demons that may lay corrupt there. Pythagoras the mathematician systemically fasted for 40-day bouts and demanded his students to do the same. The same strategy was practised by Plato, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain including many others.

There’s just something very phenomenological about abstaining from food. It makes you more aware of your body and the state of your physiology, which allows you to optimise it further and to gain a deeper insight into your creative genius.

Fasting opens up a lot of new physical space in your schedule but also frees up your mental headspace from the clutter that begins to accumulate there. (Click to Tweet)

If you want to learn about how to practice this art of abstinence as a means of enhancing your performance, improve the quality of your life and start feeling amazing, then you would want to check out my KETO // IF program, which teaches you everything you need to know about IF and nutritional ketosis.

Keto intermittent fasting cover
Keto intermittent fasting cover

References

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16011467

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16011467